There is no logical explanation as to why bookmakers are offering such massive odds about Chievo getting something out of its Italian Serie A match at Lazio on Sunday.
It is not merely that Chievo is adjacent to Lazio on the Italian Serie A ladder – only one point separates the teams after 20 rounds – although that basic data in itself should be sufficient reason for one to be interested in the Yellow and Blues at their big prices. Dig a little deeper and the case for supporting Chievo gets stronger rather than weaker.
First, Chievo thrashed Lazio 4-0 in Round Two of the Italian Serie A competition, racing to a 3-0 half-time lead before Alberto Paloschi’s second goal of the game midway through the second period killed off any chance that the visitors had of engineering a comeback. Lazio dominated many of the match statistics but Chievo made the most of its possession and that augurs well for its weekend assignment. It was the third consecutive meeting between Chievo and Lazio that had resulted in something other than a win for the White and Sky Blues so the Yellow and Blues have history on their side.
Second, both Chievo and Lazio have lined up against Bologna since the Italian Serie A season resumed and the difference in outcomes is stark. Chievo won 1-0 at Bologna in Round 19 of Italian Serie A, Simone Pepe coming off the bench to net the all-important goal in the 79th minute. Lazio drew 2-2 at Bologna in the subsequent Italian Serie A round, the White and Sky Blues trailing 0-2 until their hosts had a man sent off in the 69th minute and scoring the first of their two goals from the penalty spot. That is a natural segue into one’s Italian Serie A collateral form analysis that favours Chievo over Lazio by a wide margin. Chievo and Lazio have faced every other Italian Serie A team and, according to one’s number crunching, the Yellow and Blues hold a 11-2-6 lead over the White and Sky Blues. Bookmakers are betting on Chievo’s trip to Lazio as though the former is significantly inferior to the latter – various statistics do not support that viewpoint, with a strong argument for the opposite.
And third, Chievo has a clear week to prepare for its next Italian Serie A assignment whereas Lazio is set to tackle Juventus in an Italian Coppa Italia quarter-final tie on Wednesday. The Italian Coppa Italia represents Lazio’s best chance of both a trophy and qualification for a UEFA event so one expects that Stefano Pioli will field a good side, forcing several regular starters to back up versus Chievo.
That Lazio is one of the hottest favourites on the Italian Serie A coupon is ridiculous. Lazio has gone seven games across all tournaments without losing and Chievo has won just two of its 10 Italian Serie A matches against higher ranked teams so backing the Yellow and Blues not to lose to the White and Sky Blues makes more appeal than going for broke and supporting the visitors to earn three points.
Many bookmakers, including Boylesports and Bwin, are offering of +130 about Chievo avoiding defeat at Lazio and that strikes one as a decent value punt. Marathonbet is listing Chievo at odds of +530 to win at Lazio but that may end up being one of those bets that looks really great but loses.
Finally and for the record, according to one’s Italian Serie A collateral form analysis, the lines featuring Napoli (first), Juventus (second), Roma (fifth), Milan (sixth), Empoli (seventh), Sassuolo (eighth), Atalanta (12th), Bologna (15th), Carpi (18th) and Frosinone (19th) favour Chievo, those featuring Internazionale (third), Fiorentina (fourth), Torino (11th), Udinese (13th), Genoa (16th) and Verona (20th) favour Lazio with two ties and, of course, the direct head-to-head in the camp of the Yellow and Blues. For more Serie A tips for this weekend, check out this article.
Chievo to win/draw v Lazio
24th January 14:00
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